As we have done for many years, we arose early and attended the Dawn Service on Anzac Day.
The only difference was that we stood in our driveway rather than at the local cenotaph. So did all our family and friends although hundreds of kilometres apart. Yes, it was different, but never the less our intentions were the same.
Our personal ‘cenotaph’ ANZAC Day 2020
We reflected with a grateful heart on the service of our ancestors and family in defence of freedom and our country. Our visit to the Western Front gave us a better understanding of what our ancestors faced all those years ago.
Trench Art, Medals, Candles and Rosemary
We also reflected on the experience of our ancestors, one hundred years ago when they too were faced with a pandemic, such as we are facing today.
Raising the Flag
I have spent much time on Trove on the National Library of Australia website here reading the historical accounts in the old newspapers. What has really struck me was that the ‘play-book’ has already been written on this. The only difference is that Australians were weary after four long years of war rather than drought, fire, and flood.
Hand washing, social- distancing, and isolation were the best defence then, as is now. However, our ancestors didn’t have the communications or government assistance we have now. That pandemic was prolonged because some refused to obey the rules and continued ‘going to the beaches’ and their choice of entertainment.
Yes, it is difficult to give up your personal freedom, employment, and lifestyle for the safety of family and community, but we do not want many more to also lose their very lives.
Our ancestors have already shown us we can get through this, but how quickly and successfully depends on each individual and their daily choices and attitudes.
Personal experience will tell you there is no difference in the pain of losing a loved one, whether in war or peace. They are gone from you.
I encourage every one of us to reflect on this fact and to do everything you can to keep our families and friends safe, even if it is difficult and inconvenient right now.
Remember also your life will depend on others making that right choice too.
We did similar, there were just 5 households and 7 of us but we stood apart but together in our driveways at 5.55am and listened to ABC Radio’s virtual dawn service at the War Memorial. I am heartened by the reports of so many people in so many different places doing likewise. Many commented it made ANZAC Day feel more accessible and personal. Sadly, it made me realise some of ANZAC Day has been appropriated by hype and commercialism. I believe that many need to have a think about how, why and what it is they are remembering, and comemorating… rather than celebrating.
Thank you Dale for your thoughtful comment. I have never understood the football and other sporting fixtures on ANZAC Day. I always thought it was a day of ‘commemoration’ not ‘celebration’.